HARRISONBURG — Several area dance companies are coming together today to showcase what the local dance community has to offer.
The first Dance The Burg Fair will take place on the courthouse grounds in Court Square from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The event will feature performances, lessons and raffle prizes with opportunities to learn about the different dance groups in the Valley.
The dance fair is the brainchild of Phillip Fusaro and his wife, Erin Fusaro, owners of Friendly City Dance Room, which opened at 2 N. Main St. in downtown Harrisonburg this past March. The dance room offers more than 20 different styles of partnership dance through private lessons and group classes.
“There’s plenty of dance opportunities in Harrisonburg in a wide variety, including partnership dancing, ballroom dancing, contemporary, Irish tap, but one thing about dancing is that people often don’t know where to go to find it,” Phillip Fusaro said. “It’s our way to getting all the dance groups involved in raising awareness of what’s here.”
Along with Friendly City Dance Room, the Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative, USA Dance, Salsaburg, Leather N’ Lace, Corriston Movement & Dance and Pink Ambition are participating in the Dance The Burg Fair.
“It certainly showcases a wide variety of what’s out there,” Fusaro said.
Risha Metzler, a member of Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative, a group founded in 2015 as a performance avenue for adult dancers at the intermediate and advanced levels, said the event is a chance for different groups to work together.
“We see it as an opportunity to collaborate with other dance organizations in our community and really build those relationships,” Metzler said.
There will be a total of eight performances during the evening, in addition to three mini dance lessons. Each participating dance company will have their own informational booth set up in Court Square.
Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative’s 10-minute performance will begin at 6 p.m.
“We will perform two solos — a contemporary ballet and a jazz piece — and one duet which will be a snippet from a longer modern contemporary work,” Metzler said.
Each group will have their own special giveaways. The dance cooperative will raffle off free tickets to an upcoming show of their choice, as well as vouchers for one free class.
Friendly City Dance Room will perform a Bachata number, which is a popular Latin American dance, followed by a short lesson, from 6:20-6:30 p.m.
“We’ll teach them the basic steps and maybe an underarm turn,” Fusaro said.
Participants can enter to win a free community class or a two-person private lesson for the price of one at Friendly City Dance Room.
The Dance The Burg Fair will kick off with a line dance lesson from Leather N’ Lace, a dance club based in Dayton, at 4:35 p.m., followed by a salsa performance by Salsaburg, a Harrisonburg Latin dance club, at 5 p.m. Corriston Movement & Dance, which offers a variety of dance instruction in Harrisonburg, will perform at 5:10 p.m. followed by a line performance by Leather N’ Lace at 5:30 p.m.
After Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative’s performance, Dance & Company, which teaches classical and contemporary dance to adults and children in Harrisonburg, will perform an Irish and tap piece starting at 6:10 p.m.
USA Dance, a local nonprofit chapter of a ballroom dance organization, will perform at 6:30 p.m. following Friendly City Dance Room’s Bachata and lesson, with another USA Dance performance of a Samba Line Dance taking place at 6:40 p.m. Dance The Burg will conclude with a pole fitness dance performance by Pink Ambition at 6:50 p.m.
Dance The Burg Fair was originally scheduled for June 7 but was postponed due to rain. In case of bad weather conditions on Friday, Fusaro said the event will be moved inside Friendly City Dance Room, which is located right in Court Square. Admission is free.
“This is something we’re hoping to do once a year in the summer,” he said.